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U.S.-Canada border ban at ports of entry to begin Saturday

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Posted at 12:36 PM, Mar 20, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-20 12:48:30-04

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Travel restrictions between the United States and Canada will go into effect at 11:59pm Friday, according to the Department of Homeland Security.

The restrictions will remain in effect at land ports of entry along the U.S.-Canadian border until 11:59 p.m. on April 20, 2020.

"U.S. and Canadian officials have mutually determined that non-essential travel between the United States and Canada poses additional risk of transmission and spread of COVID-19 and places the populace of both nations at increased risk of contracting COVID-19," said Chad Mizelle, Acting General Counsel, US Department of Homeland Security in a statement.

"Essential travel" is exempt from the restrictions, including U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents returning to the United States.

Below is the list of more essential travel exemptions, as defined by the DHS:

  • Individuals traveling for medical purposes
  • Individuals traveling to attend educational institutions
  • Individuals traveling to work in the United States
  • Individuals traveling for emergency response and public health purposes
  • Individuals engaged in lawful cross-border trade
  • Individuals engaged in official government travel or diplomatic travel
  • Members of U.S. Armed Forces, and the spouses and children of members of the U.S. Armed Forces, returning to the United States
  • Individuals engaged in military-related travel or operations

At this time, the travel restrictions do not apply to air, freight rail, or sea travel between the U.S. and Canada.